Vote no on California’s Prop 37. Most of you will. However, we are likely to be on the losing end of the vote.
Polls are now showing the so called right-to-know food labeling proposition will pass by a 2 to 1 margin. (The people leading the fight against Prop 37 point out that this poll came out before they started their media campaign.)
The poll showed overwhelming support for Prop 37, despite the fact that it is a convoluted ballot initiative that defies definition. It is called an organic food referendum; an anti-science/anti-biotechnology statement; a food fight; anti-Monsanto; a food safety initiative; and a pushback against junk food among other definitions.
Opponents call it “a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme that would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs, create new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions — without providing any health or safety benefits.” Prop 37 is opposed by a broad coalition of farmers, scientists, doctors, businessmen, taxpayers, and consumers.
Then why in the name of common sense do a majority of California voters want to approve it? Because radicals have fomented anti-GMO sentiment that defies reason and science.
Even more ludicrous is the fact that the overwhelming percentage of crops grown worldwide are genetically modified. There has been no “news” coverage of the fact that the vast majority of corn, cotton and soybeans grown in the world are genetically modified and no one, except some dubious corn-stuffed French rats, has become ill from it. No one understands what genetically modified means. Everyone is just against it, fueled by radicals who are very adept at stage-managing the media.
For example, newspapers and television talking heads bought into inflammatory rhetoric from the protesters who blocked shipments and deliveries at Monsanto’s vegetable seed company in Oxnard, Calif., in September as a protest against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from the food supply and to bolster passage of Prop 37.
The radicals denounced “Bt toxins” in biotech crops. Of course the protesters' handout press releases failed to mention the fact that Bt is Bacillus thuringiensis, a natural soil-dwelling bacterium, commonly used as a biological pesticide in organic food production. It has been used safely to control pests since the 1920s. Facts like that never see newspaper ink or television airtime.
Another is the French rat study that has more scientific holes in it than a block of Swiss cheese. The story was planted in the mass media by radicals and quickly spread on the Internet. It was immediately discredited worldwide, but no one remembers the second day stories.
The opposition has raised more than $30 million to defeat Prop 37. Proponents have raised just $4 million. The supporters of the initiative do not need $30 million. They get all the free publicity they want with news releases loaded with provocative lies to snatch editors' attention.
The $30 million is being spent to fight with “facts” instead of fists.
There still needs to be a junkyard dog mentality these final few weeks before the vote. You can bet the Prop 37 advocates do not plan to play nice.
Let me tell you how I would run this campaign:
- I would develop a television spot with a staged, terrible car wreck, complete with smoking vehicles and people sitting on a curb with heads bandaged and in obvious distress — police lights flashing everywhere. The main character of the video would be a diminutive little man in a rumpled polyester suit, carrying a tattered brief case. He would be identified as an attorney. He would be handing a business card to one of the injured motorists saying, “If you want to sue someone, I am your man.” The tag line on the commercial would be: “People like that lawyer are the ones who wrote Proposition 37 and want you to approve it. Vote no on 37.”
- I would also tie Prop 37 to Prop 215, the ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana in California and created a lawless nightmare in California. It has become an open door for the Mexican drug cartels to pillage this state. I would develop a video showing law enforcement officers loading trucks with front-end loaders stuffed with uprooted marijuana plants. In the video would be a half-dozen handcuffed banditos sitting on the ground with a pile of automatic weapons nearby. The tag line would be “The same people who brought the medical marijuana initiative are the same ones behind Prop 37. Vote no on 37.”
- I call this the Golden Rice message. I would obtain a video of poor, undernourished children with an announcer explaining that a Swiss scientist has genetically modified rice to contain high levels of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is deficient in the diets of many children in impoverished nations. 500,000 children go blind each year due to a lack of Vitamin A. The announcer would say, “Anti-GMO radicals have blocked the release of Golden Rice, and children continue to needlessly go blind. These are the same people behind Proposition 37. Vote no on 37.”
Admittedly, these campaign suggestions are pretty despicable. No one likes to wallow in the mud like those who relish knocking American agriculture. However, Prop 37 is another right-to-farm-and-feed America issue. It has nothing to do with food labeling or food safety or biotechnology. It’s another dogfight we cannot afford to lose.
Obviously, the brains behind the anti-Prop 37 team don’t want to get dirty. I sincerely hope Prop 37 goes down hard, turned back with facts and dignity.